Comcast Business Services has upgraded Seattle-based health care provider Navos' network infrastructure from a 1.5 Mbps T1 line to its 50 Mbps business-class Ethernet service.

Navos said it picked Comcast to better serve its patients in its new 53,000-square-foot outpatient campus, and it also plans to connect more facilities with Comcast in the future. Navos, which is a non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for people vulnerable to mental illness, opened its new outpatient services campus last year.

The organization's IT team evaluated its existing T1 connection and found that the service was insufficient for meeting its increasing bandwidth demands. After researching other options, Navos picked Comcast's Ethernet Private Line service because it offered higher bandwidth, a faster connection, and would improve its staff's ability to provide timely and efficient patient care.

"Comcast provides a secure point-to-point connection, plus it gives us the bandwidth we need at a reasonable price," said Navos' information systems manager Jeff Coleman. "If we had stayed with T1, the throughput would have been 10 percent of what we get with Comcast, and I would have paid more each month. Now, we save thousands of dollars a year and get a connection that is 10 times faster.

"Plus, our staff can access and update patients' records in minutes, which improves productivity and boosts patient care. In fact, I am so satisfied with Comcast that we plan to add a second connection to another campus, and I look forward to additional opportunities for growth and staff efficiency in the future."

One area of marked improvement was data backup. Prior to using Comcast, Navos' data backup required large amounts of bandwidth, took up to 60 hours, and caused various bottlenecks and slowdowns. With Comcast onboard, the backup process now takes 12 hours to complete.

With the new Ethernet connection, health care staff can access electronic patient records; conduct fast file transfers of critical medical data; and gather the mental health information needed from government, university and private institution websites – without delays.

The Comcast service also enabled video conferencing among Navos' employees and helped Navos comply with patient privacy regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

"We often hear from our health care customers that our secure point-to-point connection, which preserves patient privacy, is critical to support their organizations," said Kevin O'Toole, senior vice president of product management and strategy for Comcast Business Services. "Healthcare IT departments report that they continually save time and resources by ensuring that data is only going to the places where it should be going, and they can confidently connect to the network without the added worry about privacy concerns."

After several years of development, Comcast first launched its Metro Ethernet suite of services last year and now has them available across its entire footprint.